Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There's good government, and then there's this.

During last night's Board of Ed meeting, Board Member Berthiaume said:

“... we are substantially overcrowded and while it’s certainly possible to look back and say where was the long-range planning, it doesn’t do anything to change the fact that we are where we are now in terms of being in this area, as well as many other areas, very, very badly overcrowded, and not just in need of a school soon, but yesterday, in this area. Whatever flaws the report may have had are more or less irrelevant at this point because the parks are off limits, that’s been made clear to us. As we’ve discussed, Ms. Carrier’s letter indicated that they’re not handing us any parks. But we’ve got to put a school somewhere. And this is a school that was surplussed*, to which the board kept a right of reclaim. So when we talk about due process, that was written into the deed and therefore we are exercising a legal right under a deed that we reserved. Now I will say for myself that I’m happy to take you up on your offer. If you can show me another site in this cluster that will cost us less and be of equivalent size and not delay our CIP [Capital Improvement Program], show it to me.

*Of course, the Kensington Park retirement community was built on much of the site of the former Kensington Junior High School; as a result, Rock Creek Hills Park is much smaller than the old KJH site, and has greatly reduced road accessibility.


Janis Sartucci said...

Ms. Berthiaume can look to MCPS' very own inventory of school sites.

No land is free. But land that the Board of Education already owns can be traded for other sites.


So why did the Board of Education just give away 20 acres of public school land to a private entity this year? That was the 20 acre Brickyard Middle School site that will now be handed over to a private entity for profit. That land was given away, why?

That was 20 acres of middle school land. Land that could have been used for a school or traded for 20 acres where needed. That was a decision that these exact same Board of Education members participated in just a few weeks ago.

And why didn't the Board of Education object when the 20 acre Peary High School site was sold for pennies in December? The Board of Education didn't register a protest at the Board of Works when the final approval was given.

Short memories?

eponymous said...

Since they are saying that they will reconsider a site if shown to them, I suggest that they should reconsider the Rollingwood site. It is owned by the county and leased to a private school (negating the parkland and ownership concerns). It is already used as a school, which would mitigate community concerns. It is well located in the cluster with good road access.
The primary drawback is size (~4 ac). Though this is small, MCPS admits that sizes much smaller than 20 ac are acceptable if they are adjacent to parkland. Rollingwood is directly across the street from the huge Candycane city park area.
I would envision building on only the 4 ac and using the entire parcel for building and parking. Due to topography, a fairly tall structure (3-4 stories) could easily be accommodated without being intrusive. The park adjacent could be used for playing fields for gym classes and sports teams. Perhaps a pedestrian bridge over Beach dr. Could link them.

OK, so, if this is pointed out to them, are they saying they will consider it?